In an ideal world, you are supposed to have even tire wear, but we all know that does not always happen.
When you have uneven tire wear, can lead to some problems especially the braking and overall handling of the car. That is why it should be a concern when you experience uneven tire wear.
It is common to come across uneven tire wear between the front and back tires. Being a common occurrence means it needs more attention to understand what you could be facing.
That is what we look at in the guide to help you further understand which tires wear faster and the reasons behind it.
How to Maximize Overall Tire Wear
Before we can look at the reasons, we need to first understand what may lead to uneven wear and how you can maximize the overall use of your tires.
The primary reason for uneven wear would be user errors. This includes where you do not get the vehicle aligned, the suspension is worn, and lack of proper tire awareness.
Tires are just like other parts of the car, they need to be watched also and adjustments made to make them perform optimally.
You may have seen that most people rarely look at their tire pressure only to have it checked when it is really low. That means the tire with low air pressure can have uneven wear from the others.
Whether it is front or rear tires, ensure they are cared for as recommended so as to maximize the tread life. You do not want to deal with premature wear when it could be avoided.
Reasons for High Rear Tire Wear
High rear tire wear is expected in most sports cars, high-performance sedans, and coupes. So long as the car is rear-wheel drive, expect it to have its rear tires worn faster than the front tires.
This is because the power by the drivetrain is sent to the rear wheels. So, it is the rear wheels that need to transfer this power to the road.
Of course, expect that this means more friction between the tires and the road each time you accelerate hard.
Cornering and maneuvering the car hard can also lead to the rear tires being worn faster. This is because of the stress put on the rear tires during oversteer. This is common in sports or performance cars rather than in a typical car.
You will mostly be advised about considering tire rotation between the front and rear tires so that you can even out the tire wear.
If you have a staggered setup, you can minimize the tire wear by having the tires properly aligned, inflated, and also not accelerating hard all the time.
Do not forget to check your suspension too. It could be the reason you are having uneven wear generally.
Reasons for High Front Tire Wear
The front tires wearing faster than the rear tires is a common thing in front-wheel cars. This is where the front tires are the ones transferring the power of the car to the tarmac leading to more wear.
Another thing to note is that front-wheel cars will also have to bear the weight of the engine and other heavy components as compared to rear-wheel cars.
So, in addition to power transfer, they also need to carry all that weight leading to more wear.
The front tires also have to deal with more bulk of braking and steering forces. That is why you may notice that front brakes are always bigger than rear brakes.
Some even have front disc brakes with drum brakes at the rear. It just shows how important they are.
The solution for most people is tire rotation. Whenever you rotate the tires, you end up transferring the wear to newer tires thus you can end up with a more even tire wear after some time.
Even when you decide on using the tire rotation method, you also have to consider the inflation, alignment, and suspension issues the car might be having. This is key in giving you the best wear on the tires.
The underinflated tires can have high wear on the outside edges while the overinflated tires can have high wear at the tread center.
Camber and toe wear lends to high wear on both tread blocks of the car tires.
You may also come across cupping wear. It is a sign of having worn-out suspension parts. If such parts are broken, it is best to have them replaced.
Managing Uneven Tire Wear
Unfortunately, at times you might find that your tires are quite worn already. So, how do you manage them?
If your tires are really worn, it might be time to just have them replaced at the same time. What most people do would be to try and replace the tires in pairs. That might not always work great for you.
Make sure that you fit new tires with enough tread to improve how the car drives. It might seem like spending too much, but replacing all the four tires at once leaves you with a great car generally.
If you decide to go the replacement route, make sure that the tires are from the same brand, size, and specification. You should not mismatch the tire brands since each brand would have different manufacturing technologies and performance.
In most cases, consider moving the partially worn tires to the rear for a front-wheel car and vice versa for the rear-wheel car.
This is because you want to have the best traction when accelerating and braking. So, the driving wheels should always have the best tires. You do not want to lose control easily.
Speak to a tire shop to help in identifying the right tire for your driving conditions. That way the tires last longer and serve you better.
Here is a video on choosing the right tire
Tire Rotation: Why It is Important
Tire rotation is an important part of owning a car. It is advisable to do it at intervals so that you can enjoy proper even wear and still a great service from the tires.
The general rule for tire rotation is six months. Simply get to an auto shop and have them swap the front tires to the rear and vice versa.
You also have to consider the season. In case you had winter tires and now it is summer, get yourself the right tires. The same applies to summer tires, they have to be changed also to suit the driving conditions at the time.
There are a couple of ways you can rotate the tires. There is the one where the tires are rotated from one axle to the other but maintain the same sides. So, if it is a front left tire, now you put it on the rear left side. The same applies to the other side too.
In case you have an all-wheel-drive system, rotate the tires by crossing them. Here, take the front left tire and mount it on the right rear side. Do the same for the right front tire and have it exchanged with the left rear tire.
In the same regard, for a front-wheel drive, rotate the tires by moving the front tires to the rear. This also applies to rear-wheel drive. The only difference is that now you move the worn rear tires to the front.
Always consider the condition of the tires before rotating them. If the tires are too worn, just replace them with new tires rather than having them rotated.
Other Reasons for Tires Wearing Out Faster
Other than your tires wearing based on which are the driving tires, you should also consider other factors that may lead to uneven wearing of tires.
The first one is improper inflation pressure. Before you can even think of alignment, make sure you have this in proper check. The tire pressure depends on the type of car and recommended pressure setting.
Passenger cars are likely to have a recommendation of 32 to 40 PSI. Expect trucks to have a higher pressure recommendation.
Always check the tire pressure once a month. Do not forget the spare tire also. With the right tire pressure, expect even wear generally.
Tire alignment and broken or worn suspension components could also be the reason you have uneven worn tires. So, check on them too.
Here is a video explaining when you should change tires.
Which tires will wear faster?
You will notice that front tires would wear faster on average. This is because these tires have to handle braking, steering, and at the same time the weight of the engine and other components.
Which tires will wear fast on an AWD car?
When it comes to an AWD setup, the front tires will still wear faster as they still do most of the steering and braking compared to the rear wheels.
Should you replace only the front tires?
It is best to look at the condition of the tires first before replacing or rotating them. There are times when you may have to replace the tires rather than rotating.